Agent Resource Center

Monthly Agent Newsletter

May 2017

 
 

If your clients are looking to increase the long-term value of their homes with energy-efficient updates, they may be able to pay for them with a home equity line of credit.

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Get to know the benefits of the Affordable Loan Solution mortgage, including down payments as low as 3% for clients who qualify.

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This year, connect with Bank of America at events and conferences to learn about down payment assistance options for potential homebuyers.

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Using a home equity line of credit to go green

For clients who've closed on a home and want to make energy-efficient updates — or clients looking to make similar upgrades prior to selling — a home equity line of credit could be a great option to help pay for a wide range of home improvements.

Energy-efficient upgrades in particular are a great way to both add valuefootnote1 and reduce expenses in the long term.footnote2 Installing insulated windows or updating heating and air conditioning systems are relatively simple projects that can help clients lower their utility costs — but clients may also want to consider integrating these smaller updates into larger upgrades like a kitchen or bathroom remodel.

Of course, these projects can get expensive, which is why a home equity line of credit (HELOC) could be a good resource for your clients. In fact, home improvements and remodeling have traditionally been among the most common reasons homeowners take out a HELOC.

Benefits of a home equity line of credit

There are a number of benefits to using a HELOC to pay for planned upgrades:

  • Flexibility. Once someone opens a HELOC, they may draw out funds as needed up to a predetermined credit limit.
  • Convenience. Most financial institutions provide checks that can be used to pay directly from the client's HELOC for services used (for example, a contractor) and purchases made (for materials, appliances, etc.). Or, they can use secure online banking to transfer funds from a HELOC to their checking account to pay for home improvements.
  • Low interest rates. Typically, the interest rates on a HELOC are much lower than on most credit cards.
  • Possible tax advantages. Tell clients to check with their financial advisor to learn more about what kinds of tax advantages they may qualify for with a HELOC.

The Bank of America Real Estate Center can help clients figure out how much they may be able to borrow for a HELOC. Once they go to the site and type in their home's street address, they'll instantly see an estimated range of what their home is worth. Generally, they're allowed to borrow a portion of their home's equity (defined as the appraised home value less what is owed).

For more information about HELOCs — or if your clients are interested in a quote — please contact your lending specialist.

1Sources:
Home Valuation Study, October 2015: The Market Valuation of Energy Efficient and Green Certified Northwest Homes.With support from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.
U.S. Green Building Council: The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market.

2Sources:
"Energy Savings at Home," ENERGYSTAR.gov.
"Home Systems+Energy," SmarterHouse.org.

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Product spotlight: Affordable Loan Solution® mortgage

If you have clients who would like to buy a home but who may not have enough savings for a large down payment, the Bank of America Affordable Loan Solution mortgage may be a good, responsible option for them.footnote1

Key features of our Affordable Loan Solution mortgage include:

  • Competitive rates with a down payment as low as 3% (applicants cannot own additional properties at closing)
  • Mortgage insurance is not required
  • Homebuyer education may be required for first-time buyers through a HUD-approved counseling provider or Connect to Own®, Bank of America's nationwide network of counselors
  • Maximum income and loan amount limits apply (varies by location)
  • Designed for borrowers with modest incomes

Learn more about the Affordable Loan Solution mortgage.

1Available for fixed-rate purchase loans with terms of 25 or 30 years and on primary residences only. Certain property types are ineligible. Borrower(s) must not have an individual or joint ownership interest in any other residential property at time of closing. Maximum purchase loan-to-value is 97% and maximum combined purchase loan-to-value is 103%. For loan-to-values >95%, any secondary financing must be from an approved Community Second Program; ask for details. Homebuyer education may be required. Restrictions apply regarding co-borrowers. Maximum income and loan amount limits apply.

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Connecting homebuyers to low down payment mortgage options

Bank of America is here to help your clients — and whether they talk to a specialist or go online to learn more about the home buying process, they'll know where they stand every step of the way. Throughout the year, we are connecting with and educating real estate professionals and homebuyer education providers at local events and national industry conferences about the benefits of the Affordable Loan Solution® mortgage.

This new fixed-rate loan for modest-income borrowers offers a competitive rate and a down payment as low as 3% to help make buying a home a little easier on a qualified client's bank account.

Low down payment loan products can also be combined with many down payment and closing cost programs. The Bank of America Down Payment Resource Center is an online tool your clients can use to search for local down payment and cost savings programs that can help make buying a home even more affordable.footnote1

For more information or to find out about industry events in your area, contact your local lending specialist.

1Down payment and/or closing cost assistance programs may not be available in your area. Down payment and/or closing cost assistance amount may be due upon sale, refinance, transfer, or repayment of the loan, or if the senior mortgage is assumed during the term of the loan. Some programs require repayment with interest, and borrowers should become fully informed prior to closing. Not all applicants will qualify. Minimum credit scores may apply. Sales price restrictions and income requirements may apply. Homebuyer education may be required. Owner-occupied properties only. Maximum loan amounts may apply.

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